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All of the Social Security offices in the United States are now closed because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. And this may have many people wondering how their enrollment or current benefits may be affected, or how they can still receive assistance if needed.
Here are some answers to common questions about how Social Security and Medicare enrollment and benefits are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Social Security retirement benefits will not be affected by Social Security Administration (SSA) office closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether you receive your SSA benefits payment via direct deposit or through the U.S. mail, you will continue to be paid as normal.
Although Social Security offices have been closed to outside visitors during the outbreak, they are still staffed with employees taking phone calls.
Wait times are expected to be long due to the high number of callers. In fact, the Social Security website says wait times may take up to 90 minutes or longer.
During the pandemic, staff will be dedicated to serving the people in the most critical need of help. If your request can be processed online, the agents will redirect you to Social Security’s online services.
Learn what steps you can take online and how to navigate the Social Security website, SSA.gov.
There are also a number of services that can be processes through the SSA automated phone service system.
If you needed to mail something in to your local Social Security office, you may still do so.
Mail is still being delivered, and there will still be employees at your local SSA office to receive mail.
Many of the things that you might call or visit your Social Security office about can be conducted online.
Some of these online services include:
These are just some of the actions you can take online. Please visit Social Security’s online portal for a complete list.
If you’re ready to apply for Social Security benefits, you may do so online by visiting the benefits application page, clicking “Apply Online” and following the instructions.
You can also get help learning how to enroll in Medicare online or by calling to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
If you were scheduled for a hearing regarding your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, it will still go on as planned.
You will be contacted prior to the hearing date to be offered a telephone hearing.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration will be extending most deadlines for requests for documentation and other information.
In an effort to allocate resources during the pandemic, there are a few actions the Social Security Administration will not be performing at this time.
Some of these services include:
Be sure to reach out directly to your local Social Security office online or by phone if you have additional questions.